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October 6, 2010

But not to Mississippoli
Posted by Avram Grumer at 09:30 PM *

You’re Twittering up a tweet,
A link makes your tweet complete,
But how to the character limit can it comply?
Bit.ly! Bit.ly!
B I T— L Y!

But everyone who obtains
One of those L Y domains
Should know to whom they are giving control thereby:
Tripoli! Tripoli!
Tripo— L I!

The Libyan government’s vexed
By content overtly-sexed.
How do they act when they see sexy links go by?
Censoriously! Censoriously!
Censorious— L Y!

And if you’re a blogging guy
Who hears all this hue and cry,
And wants to bring up Mitt Romney’s dropping his mitt.ly URL shortening service, remind people that tr.im isn’t accepting new URLs, and wonders if maybe this whole thing doesn’t smell just a little bit of anti-Islamic panic, which is all way too many syllables to fit into this cramped lyrical scheme, so how can one even even try?
Brazenly! Brazenly!
Brazen— L Y!

(After Tom Lehrer, unworthiLY.)

Comments on But not to Mississippoli:
#1 ::: -dsr- ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 10:00 PM:

There's no need to invoke anti-Islamic panic when there's perfectly good anti-Khaddafi panic to go around. Or is it the other way around?

#2 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 10:09 PM:

In other news, relying on parties in locations where you have zero legal recourse can be bad for business.

#3 ::: Mary Arrr ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 10:14 PM:

It's not anti-Islamic panic! Mitt thought they were talking about the librarians! Known commie-loving terrorist sympathizers the lot of them.

Note: Updating of actual Reagan era joke.

#4 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 10:21 PM:

DSR @1, I dunno, Qaddafi's kind of an '80s retro villain figure. Meanwhile, I've seen a few people making worry noises about the sharia aspect of this.

(Hey, Qaddafi, aren't you supposed to be a socialist? Since when do socialists pay heed to religious law? Shouldn't you be working on strangling the last sultan with the entrails of the last mullah?)

#5 ::: Sarah W ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 10:23 PM:

Naaaational Brotherhood Week!
Naaaational Brotherhood Week . . .

#6 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 10:29 PM:

I hear the prince of Tonga makes a lot of money from people who want to have domain names like how.to.

#7 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 11:42 PM:

Huh? Libya wants to censor content. Why shouldn't people dump the .ly domain in response?

Or is this a Romney is ebil and Libya is unicorns and rainbows thread? I don't like Romney, but it's not because of this current issue.

#8 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2010, 11:46 PM:

Earl @7, what? Your comment reads as if you're desperately grappling for something to be contrarian about.

#9 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 12:01 AM:

BTW, I've set my Twitter client to use is.gd for URL shortening.

#10 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 12:08 AM:

Violet Blue is a bit of a touchy subject on previous threads. How will that affect the spin on this thread?

#11 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 12:17 AM:

Erik @10, I don't know. I don't really figure she has to enter into it much.

Though actually, now that you mention it, bringing up censorship in the vicinity of Violet Blue might attract obnoxious comments from certain quarters. If so, well, we've got tools for dealing with obnoxious commenters.

#12 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 12:36 AM:

Thanks for bringing this up, Avram. I admit I hadn't considered where the .ly domains were based.

I should have, considering how neat I thought it is that one of Tuvalu's biggest sources of income is the .tv domain.

#13 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 12:38 AM:

Don't really figure she has to enter into it much?

Even though she's the proprietor of the URL shortening service discussed in the article?

#14 ::: Evan Goer ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:01 AM:

When the character limits have shrunken
Comes a fellow everyone knows
It's the Old
Link Shortener
Saving bytes wherever he goes

In every tweet you will find him
On the 'Net in every direction
It's the Old
Link Shortener
Adding layers of indirection

He gives the kids free samples
Without a moment of bargaining
Because today's young innocent clicking
Will be tomorrow's... behavioral targeting

Here's a cure for all your troubles
Here's an end to DNS
It's the Old
Link Shortener
With his http://happ.in/ess

#15 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:04 AM:

It is the very model of a modern-purposed top domain,
it gives link shorteners good names remembered without any strain.
But now the owner of the domain has found a reason to complain
about the content of the links that some have used them to obtain.

Oops, wrong thread.

#16 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:05 AM:

Erik Nelson @13:

I think it really depends what people talk about in the thread.

Although she happens to have been the one whose domain got taken away, the fact of the taking away is much more interesting. The more interesting (to English-language speakers) TLDs are a usually unacknowledged way that the wider world interacts with Western culture.

It would be interesting to figure out if there are other, parallel cases. Is this similar, or dissimilar to the way that our manufacturing has been outsourced to places whose labor practices may not be what we ourselves would want?

One could also talk about alternative shortening URLs, real and wished-for. I could mention, for instance, that we own shrap.nl, which currently redirects to our blog.

There's plenty to talk about that won't turn into "geez, I see Teresa's away, let's give her a sewer of a thread to come back to." Please consider that aspect of things going forward.

#17 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:14 AM:

Aaaand, I see Bruce and Evan have got in ahead of me and led by example.

#18 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:43 AM:

Avram @8, it sounds like we're having two different conversations here. I am mystified about the original post. Are you criticizing Romney for dropping the Libyan domain name? If so, why?

#19 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 02:02 AM:

avram @4, "(Hey, Qaddafi, aren't you supposed to be a socialist? Since when do socialists pay heed to religious law? Shouldn't you be working on strangling the last sultan with the entrails of the last mullah?)"

Qaddafi has described his politics as a form of Islamic socialism for a pretty long time. (Although, oddly enough, the word "Islam" doesn't seem to appear anywhere in his Green Book, at least in the English version.)

#20 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 03:47 AM:

Earl @18:

If you wanted your comment @7 to be taken a bit more factually, it might have been a wise strategy to drop the "unicorns and rainbows" phrasing.

#21 ::: Q. Pheevr ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 05:53 AM:

Rainbows have indeed been known to occur in Libya; there's a photo of one on this page, for example. I'm not aware of any credible evidence that there are Libyan unicorns, though. In addition to occasional rainbows, Libya has a government that is not known for respecting civil liberties, including freedom of speech and of the press. It's a multi-faceted country.

I would be wary of placing my Web content in Libyan jurisdiction because of the Libyan government's poor civil rights record, in much the same way that I have been wary of placing my Web content in U.S. jurisdiction because of the Patriot Act (although not wary enough to refrain from doing so altogether). There are probably lots of other people who feel the same way. There are probably also people who are wary of placing their Web content in Libyan jurisdiction because they have a generalized distrust of Muslim countries. I don't know exactly why Mitt Romney decided to move away from mitt.ly. I have no idea why he chose mitt.ly in the first place.

I don't think that anything that I've just said is particularly likely to be surprising to anyone who has posted on this thread.

#22 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 06:43 AM:

There's http://goo.gl/ if you either trust Google to be around for a while and not be evil (or at least no more evil than any other shortener), or are already relying on them in so many ways that if they are evil one more won't hurt.

#23 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 08:14 AM:

Erik Nelson #6: The prince? The king doesn't object?

#24 ::: Meredith ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 08:55 AM:

Adorable!

#25 ::: The Modesto Kid ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 09:18 AM:

You can now give control to Greenland rather than Tripoli, by using goo.gl to shorten your tweeted URLs.

#26 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 09:35 AM:

If we really want to make this a sewer of a thread, we can talk about the most well-known user of the .cx domain.

#27 ::: paul ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 10:35 AM:

So now Mitt is pro-porn but anti-healthcare? I'm so confused. Politics sure does make strange, uh, withdrawers of domain-name registrations.

#28 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 10:43 AM:

Apparently Tonga is a kingdom, not a principality. Who knew?

#29 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 10:44 AM:

paul:

He is the very model of a value-free politico
The contents of his heart of hearts are trivial for you to know
Just read the latest polling numbers in the paper and you'll see
The current meaning of his moderate Republiosity

#30 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 10:48 AM:

@27: Mitt is large. He contains multitudes.

#31 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 11:12 AM:

Jon Meltzer #30: Indeed, he certainly has the common touch.

#32 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 11:16 AM:

Bleargh, I don't want to be put in the position of defending Mitt Romney; let a Republican do that. Have fun, y'all, it looks like I won't find any answers in this thread.

#33 ::: rgh ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 11:49 AM:

Minimise! Minimise!
Let no extended domain name evade your eyes!

But when they stop your freedom,
to shorten sexual links,
to lessen people's boredom,
at least that's what you think.

Who deserves the credit,
who deserves the blame?

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi is his name, hey!

They could have followed the example of leafly.com and chilled out a bit.

#34 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 12:14 PM:

Recently I met Mitt Romney's presidential nomination campaign manager.

Shuddersome.

#35 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 12:28 PM:

You know, it is entirely possible to be against two internally opposed things at once. Disliking Romney does not mean one must immediately be best friends with Qaddafi.

Not past the age of seven, anyway.

#36 ::: Mattathias ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 12:39 PM:

abi@35: The enemy of your enemy can be your enemy? Who knew?

#37 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:03 PM:

Earl @18, what part of "And wants to bring up Mitt Romney's dropping his mitt.ly URL shortening service" sounds like criticism?

I mean, it's kinda funny that it apparently never occurred to anyone in Romney's campaign to think about where .ly domains were hosted, but I don't have a problem with him dropping the service once he's learned about it.

#38 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:28 PM:

The enemy of your enemy is a potential ally.

And the enemy of the moment of your enemy of the moment is a potential ally of the moment.

And a potential ally of the moment is a tenuous thing indeed.

#39 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:39 PM:

Evan Goer@14: Thank you! That's excellent.

Bruce Cohen@15: Fun! Except for the extra syllable in line 3. But second half of line 3, and line 4, are really excellent.

albatross@29: That appears to be perfect, and quite excellent.

rgh@33: Ooh, finding that perfect name scansion is an accomplishment! The rest is rough, or I'm not seeing how to read/sing it properly (that qualification also applies to the ones I mentioned flaws in above, of course) .

#40 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 01:45 PM:

The scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) is native to (among other regions) Libya, although it is its relative the Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) that has been linked with possible origins of the unicorn myth (e.g., via the Biblical "re'em" which is thought by some to refer to the Arabian oryx and which was translated as "unicorn" in the King James translation of the Bible).

#41 ::: Q. Pheevr ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 02:35 PM:

Heather Rose Jones @40 – Oh, cool! In that case, I stand somewhat corrected: Libya definitely has rainbows and censorship, and might also have animals related to ones that were referred to as unicorns. Thanks for that tidbit of zoobiblical scholarship!

#42 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 03:08 PM:

Avram #37: I don't have a problem with him dropping the service once he's learned about it

Thank you for the clarification.

#43 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 03:25 PM:

ddb @38 And a potential ally of the moment is a tenuous thing indeed.

This is reminding me irresistably of one of my favorite quotes from the Lee & Miller Liaden books:

In an ally, considerations of house, clan, planet, race are insignificant beside two prime questions, which are: 1. Can he shoot? 2. Will he aim at your enemy?

#44 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 03:41 PM:

OtterB@43: Like that one! I read some Liaden books, but didn't get completely hooked (I think I read up to an early gap in publication, and never resumed when they resumed). But I enjoyed what I read, and going back is on the probably-some-day list.

#45 ::: JoXn ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 04:02 PM:

I've always wondered why @tordotcom uses link shortener bit.ly for its links on twitter when tor.com is pretty short by itself. Why not provide its own short links for on-premise material?

#46 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 04:14 PM:

JoXn @45, I think Twitter automatically shortens any URLs over a certain length, and uses bit.ly to do so, so it's possible that the full URLs are getting posted by Tor.com, and shortened by Twitter.

#47 ::: Milton ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 05:47 PM:

Oh, great! Just as I'm getting Lehrer out of my head, you (very clever) jokers have to remind me of at least four songs. At least no one said that "Libya's got the bomb."

D'oh!

#48 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 06:16 PM:

Mattathias, #36: "The enemy of your enemy is your friend" is a serious over-generalization. In reality, it's more like, "The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend, but under some circumstances may become an ally, at least for a while." But that doesn't make a good soundbite.

#49 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 06:19 PM:

Ah! But what about the enema of my enemy? Should we not be wary of Capitalist Colonicalism?

#50 ::: Shane ::: (view all by) ::: October 07, 2010, 09:23 PM:

Bruce - Kenyan Anti-colonicalism

#51 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2010, 12:31 AM:

I could mention, for instance, that we own shrap.nl, which currently redirects to our blog.

I bow before your awesomeness. I need to get a cool domain name! The one that should naturally belong to me has been grabbed up by some dumb ol' computer company.

#52 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2010, 03:16 AM:

Jon Melzer @26:

If we really want to make this a sewer of a thread, we can talk about the most well-known user of the .cx domain.

To make a cloaca of it, we’d have to refer to a user of .se, that other eminent domain.

#53 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2010, 06:49 AM:

Hey, Qaddafi, aren't you supposed to be a socialist?

Gaddafi used to be a socialist before he became an Islamist. Now he's into pan-africanism. He wants to be President of Africa.
On the "enemy of my enemy" point: some sort of diplomatic award should go to Gerry Adams and the Provisional IRA, for managing to obtain support from the US and Libya simultaneously...

#54 ::: chris ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2010, 08:00 AM:

Gaddafi used to be a socialist before he became an Islamist.

ISTM more accurate to say that he used to pretend to be a socialist before he pretended to become an Islamist. He's actually a Gaddafist. Dictators may change their apparent ideology as easily as they change their clothes, but the one thing they consistently believe in is retaining power for themselves.

Unfortunately, some people in the US decided that they could politically benefit from deliberately mistaking dictators-pretending-to-be-socialist for ACTUAL socialists and redefining "socialism" based on their dictatorial behaviors, and they've been pretty successful at that strategy (at least as far as the perceptions of Americans are concerned); but calling your dictatorial regime socialist doesn't make it so (and the same is true for calling it Islamist).

Concern for the welfare of the workers was never high on Gaddafi's priority list, any more than it was on Stalin's or Mao's.

#55 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2010, 09:15 AM:

Mary Dell@51: I understand; check out who has ddb.com these days (I could have kept it, but they paid enough that it seemed worth the hassle of changing my email and web locations).

I do still have demesne.com, which I registered before you had to pay money. Closest thing to a "cool" domain name I've got (used mostly for email for other people currently).

#56 ::: Q. Pheevr ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2010, 09:53 AM:

Well, someone has to say it:

"Rule 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less." —The seven habits of highly effective pirates

#57 ::: ma larkey ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2010, 10:16 AM:

This LY thing makes me so happy. I didn't expect to have that tune dancing in my head---merrily, merrily, merri--LY.

#58 ::: David DeLaney ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2010, 09:57 AM:

Catching up after a while away, but I can't believe nobody referenced "This is just.to/say" in this thread.

--Dave

#59 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2010, 10:10 AM:

David DeLaney #58: Hey, that seems to be "free", or at least owned by J. Random Cybersquatter....

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